Poem-a-Day April 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #23. Theme: Action


Action Figure

I come with coffee,
which is a bit of a cheat,
like doping.
But it gets me going,
to get it done–
all those things that
make my eyes glaze,
my brain become dazed,
like problems
(not exercises,
as they are so politically-correctly called)
with numbers.
Finals are almost here,
and then I can toss all my notes
into the bonfire
while drinking my java,
spiked with vodka.



Poem-a-Day April 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #22. Theme: Plant



Once upon a time in an obscure, European principality,
there reigned sterling, silver-haired King Kudzu,
who, due to his massive growth,
crowded out all the kingdom’s flora.

He had 12 beautiful daughters:
Pansy & Tansy,
who were a bit prissy,
whose smell no one could match,
Poppy & Posey,
who were interchangeable,
who was one letter short of violent,
Ivy & Iris,
who liked to climb walls & change colours,
whose petals often got plucked by lovestruck youngsters,
Lily & Lotus,
who didn’t do much,
& Belladonna,
who felt above it all,
being four syllables tall.

They all had hair of copper or gold,
their skin bronzed by the sun from the courtyard
that was their only contact with the natural world.

As King Kudzu grew,
he raised his motherless daughters in the castle,
grooming them—
in their solitary confinement & disciplinary refinement—
to become nuns in the local convent.

But then Father Jackson Fitzpatrick Kennedy—
a handsome devil of a weed—
came & came often,
fertilizing the King’s diverse garden.
His potent seed,
stored up for so long,
caused each bloom to produce after her own kind;
for King Kudzu had assumed that the birds & bees speech
would’ve been common knowledge among his daughters,
they being plants.

The King,
enraged at the mass-pollination,
tossed the Father into the cathedral dungeon,
defrocked & denatured,
while his daughters each bore a son,
each son becoming a father
of one of the Twelve Tribes of a New Israel,
where they lived so-so happily ever after—
these sons of single motherhood.

The moral of the story: Children are better off with both parents, in case one of them is crazy.


Poem-a-Day April 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #21. Theme: Danger


Danger Zone

Their love nest was a walk-in cooler,
behind the crates of dairy products,
on a dilapidated pallet,
the steam they generated
threatened to sour the milk,
curdle the cream,
and melt the butter.
If customers only knew what went on
behind the milk doors,
they might go shelf-stable soy.


Poem-a-Day April 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #20. Theme: “Earlier Line”


When Art Lost its Tangibility

1000 Years in the Future

With every year that passed,
the world became more senseless.
Crayons disappeared,
markers faded,
colored pencils became dull.
There was no more paint,
no more sculpture.
created by the computers
or their programmers–
was piped in everywhere,
scattering the thoughts of the populace
as in the world of Harrison Bergeron.

There was a uniformity to everything–
a measure of control in a chaotic world
that sought to make everything smaller,

For they said the earth had run out of room
for art that took up actual space.
Through computer applications,
a New Art for a New Era was created
by the creators–
as virtual space was infinite space.
Thus the tactile processes of creating art
was lost,
and craft stores had gone the way of
small businesses.
Photographers and graphic designers became
the modern artists.

And so, when batteries died and
the electricity went out,
the art went with it.
And this art that had lost its smell
was but a memory
that no description
could ever do justice,
for human recall was the height
of fallibility.

And when the power grid shut down,
a group of bored children came upon an old schoolhouse
that had not been touched by urban decay,
but by rural depression, isolation, and apathy.
It was in a cobwebby closet that they found
the pencils and the crayons,
yet they knew not what to do with them.

But then one remembered a film from long ago–
saved from the Ban and Burn 100 years before–
where fingers weren’t the tools,
but rather, held the tools.
It was then that human hands reclaimed the functionality
that had once created beauty
(even as the artists of the New Era could only capture
and rearrange it)–
the kind of art that was as messy
as it was beautiful.

And when the power returned forty years later
following The Rebuilding,
the world glowed with screens once more,
but it had become alive again through a New Renaissance.


Poem-a-Day April 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #18. Theme: Temptation


Off the Rack: Mr. Basil Caraway

He was an English sage
who happened to be a baby-faced,
red-hot ginger.
His attire, so sporty & posh,
packaged such a scary good sense of humour,
that he was deemed irresistible.
So much so, that Rosemary Curry
couldn’t keep from sprouting
whenever she smelt him.


Poem-a-Day April 2018 Writer’s Digest Challenge #16. Theme: Love/Anti-Love


Life is Loving Things, Hating Things

I love men clean-cut & clean-shaven;
I hate man-buns & gauges.
(Less hair, more flesh, please.)

I love older men,
not old men (in “that way”).

I love mint-green MINI Coopers;
I hate smart cars.
(They look dumb.)

I love my womanly curves;
I hate that one of those curves isn’t concave.

I love epidurals;
I hate contractions.
(Except when I’m trying to reduce my word count.)

I love the Bible;
I hate some of the things in it.
(God as Bad Cop, Jesus, Good Cop.)

I love humanism;
I hate feminism.
(But femininity rules.)

I’d love to write for Harlequin;
I hate reading Harlequin romances.
(But such is called research.)

I love linguistics,
I hate statistics.
(One is a carton of pretty lies,
the other can be a pack of damn lies.)

I love it when people make an educated argument;
I hate it when they copy-and-paste.

I love conducting interviews;
I hate cold quoting.
(I am not a “Woman on the Street” type.)

I love Valentine’s Day now that I’m married;
I hated it when I was single.
(Still think it’s stupid, only I get stuff now.)

I hate things about this life,
but I love my life,
& live without regrets,
for to change the smallest thing
might have changed everything.